Herbal medicine hoped to be part of economic development priorities hinh anh 1Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visits booths at the conference (Photo: VNA)
Lao Cai (VNA) – Many provinces have said they will turn herbal medicine development into one of the economic priorities so as to tap into local advantages.

They made the statement at a teleconference held in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai on April 12 to seek ways to optimise Vietnam’s herbal plant resource.

An official of central Quang Nam province, which is famous for Ngoc Linh ginseng (Panax vietnamensis or Vietnamese ginseng), said it is necessary to expand and upgrade transport infrastructure to attract investment in developing this rare indigenous species.

Home to nearly 1,000 medicinal plant species, northern Quang Ninh province asked the Government to increase support for businesses and local households to tap into this resource, enhance the training of specialised pharmacists, and promote the trade of Vietnamese herbal medicine in the region and the world.

Meanwhile, the northernmost province of Ha Giang considers herbal medicine development as a start-up priority, an official said, adding that they have contracted research institutes to develop products from local herbal plants.

Addressing the meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc underscored favourable natural conditions for herbal plants in Vietnam, adding that the country’s herbal medicine resource is priceless and can be capitalised in all 63 provinces and cities.

He cited the World Health Organisation’s data that more than 80 percent of the global population use herbal medicine. In Vietnam, at least 30 percent of medicine is made from domestic herbal plants. 

This is a big opportunity for the development of the country’s herbal medicinal materials, he noted.

As existing measures to tap into the herbal plant resource remain ineffective, PM Phuc urged better policies and legal regulations, the production of herbal medicine with good technology and in value chain, and the herbal medicine trade promotion.

He suggested three centres for traditional medicine research be set up nationwide, asking ministries, sectors and localities to raise public awareness of traditional medicine and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in this field.

It is also a must to tighten control of the trade and distribution of herbal medicinal materials to prevent smuggling and protect domestic herbal medicine production, he stressed.-VNA